Costa Rica Retirement – Costa Rica is a country of never ending possibilities and opportunities. Its pristine beaches combined with exotic wildlife, preserved natural resources and picturesque sceneries is enough to make anyone want to live in this lovely country.
The climate in Costa Rica is one of the major factors as to why Americans, Canadians and even Europeans are lured and attracted to this exotic tropical paradise. For those who are seeking refuge from blistering heat or frigid winters, the average temperature in Costa Rica is surely welcome. Do not be deceived though, although Costa Rica is a small country in terms of land area, there is a lot happening in here in terms of weather. The climate is so diverse and varied which is mainly because of its nearness to the equator, it has an ocean (Pacific Ocean) and a sea (Caribbean Sea) relatively close to each other and some parts of Costa Rica are elevated. In the coastal areas the temperature range is 80 to 90 degrees with high humidity along the central and southern pacific coasts. The central valley offers the most comfortable climate in Costa Rica since the temperature stays around 70 up to 80 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night.
When it comes to season, Costa Rica only has two, dry and rainy season. The dry season usually runs from mid-November up to late April, while rainy season is from May that runs through mid-November.
Pura Vida Lifestyle
Costa Ricans have an unofficial motto and that is Pura Vida! Its direct English translation is ‘Pure Life’ but to Ticos it has a deeper and much more profound meaning. It may be used to say hello, thank you, and goodbye or even enjoy life in a laid back manner. It also means that no matter what kind of situation you may be in, life for someone else is still less fortunate than yours. The other meaning of Pura Vida is to live life to the fullest and give importance to what matters most – family and friends. This kind of outlook in life is refreshing to foreigners especially to those who have lived their lives frantically and stressfully due to work and other activities.
Low Cost of Living
Many expats who came from American, Canada and European countries find themselves spending less money in Costa Rica than they did in their home countries. In Costa Rica an individual can live decently and comfortably with a budget of $1200 and $1500 for a couple.
Let us break down the expenses you have to take care of when living in Costa Rica.
Housing: When renting in rural and some select urban areas the cost is around $300 up to $600 for fully furnished apartment or a small-medium house. With this price you can already get amenities like line-drying laundry and bathrooms with electric shower heads. If you want to buy a real estate property remember that your preference would play a big factor to the amount you have to spend. A simple Tico-style home costs around $50,000 but if you want a more luxurious home with 3 bedrooms with a view and North American finishes it may cost you around $150,000 up to $200,000. What’s more the property tax in this country is only 0.25 per cent of the property’s registered value.
Food and Dining: Food and dining can greatly affect your monthly budget. Restaurants with US names are usually expensive and can mess up your budget, however if you eat at small eateries you can often get a complete meal for just $5 – $6. You can save a lot of money though if you buy the standard Costa Rican diet (beans, rice, vegetables, chicken and fruit) from street vendors or street fairs that are usually held every Saturday; you can also buy them in supermarkets but it would cost you more. Pork and imported goods are a little expensive in this part of the globe.
Goods and Services: Hiring a good hand to tend your house and garden is inexpensive. A housekeeper and gardener can be hired for $2-$4 per hour. On the other hand, you have to take note that buying a new car in Costa Rica would cost twice as much as in the United States because of import taxes. In any case you can always commute and ride a bus or a cab as they are widely accessible and very reasonably priced.
Health Care: In Costa Rica quality health or medical care is inexpensive unlike in other well-developed countries. Residents can choose private insurance, subscribe to the CCSS or Costa Rican Social Security or combine the two. Private Insurance through the National Insurance Institute costs around $60 to $100 a month per person, while Caja’s public service that can be used to ensure a family costs $30-$50 a month. Take note that all legal residents are required to pay a premium for membership in Caja to receive free care.
Costa Rica is just a short flight away from major cities of US, Canada and some European countries. This spells low air fare and short flight time for foreign national to go to and get out of the country, plus it is more convenient for family and friends to come and visit you.
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